Cayman saw plenty of Magic

Kids into basketball had a great time last week.

A number of hoops camps were taking place around the island and arguably the most Magical took place at Camana Bay.

That is because the Cayman Islands Basketball Association Orlando Magic camp went off at the Arts and Recreation Center.

Former star player and current team ambassador Nick Anderson highlighted the notable persons on-island for the camp.

The other big names were Orlando Magic staff and coaches within Central Florida.

Most of the visitors were scouts for the team and included Brian Wright (chief scouting co-ordinator), Antonio Perez (chief youth camp organizer), Tom Conrad (regional scout) and Justin Wingard (youth camp coach).

Meanwhile the other coaches brought an interesting history in and around the Florida hoops scene. Donnie Avery leads all junior NBA clinics around the world, Jack Lutzeier is the Florida director of a national basketball academy and Benson Callier is a relatively new coach who played professionally in Europe and in college at Florida State University.

The week-long camp saw roughly 70 kids come out each day to take part in drills and exercises put on by the Magic staff.

The kids ranged from seven to 16 years of age and were split up into two sessions at different times of the day.

The morning gathering took place from 8:30am to 12 noon and catered to children aged 7-12.

Meanwhile the afternoon session went off from 12:30pm until 4pm and was geared towards kids aged 12-16.

Last Friday was the final day of the camp and witnessed an awards ceremony for each session in addition to each participant receiving an individual player evaluation.

On the day a number of recognizable faces within the community came out to support the camp.

Among them was the Minister of Sports Mark Scotland.

Scotland spoke to the kids in the morning session about the importance of sports in their lives.

‘Your government is happy to support the growth of basketball in Cayman. I hope this wasn’t the only camp you attended this summer. But if it was I hope you had a good time and a good work-out.

‘At this point all I want to say to you all is to take sports seriously. It is a way of life now, not a past-time any longer.

‘Stay in sports during the school year. Try to find that balance between education and sports. You’ll find that sports are a way to further grow your life.’

Local basketball association president and Appleby partner Bryan Hunter was also in attendance.

Hunter gave much praise to both the visiting and local coaches who helped make the camp a reality.

‘I just want to say a big thank you to the Orlando Magic coaches, the parents who encouraged their kids to come and our local coaches and volunteers.

‘Thanks are also in order to Maples, the main sponsor of the camp.

‘My hope is this camp increases the profile of basketball in Cayman. Hopefully we can make this camp an annual event.’

The positive vibes extended to the kids at the camp and their parents.

One of them was nine year-old Prospect primary student Emjae Hydes.

The young Lakers fan said he thought everything was awesome.

‘It felt great being at the camp. Even though I worked hard and played hard it was fun. It was a good time and the coaches were really cool.’

His father is motorsports enthusiast Minroy Hydes. Like his only son stated, the elder Hydes felt the camp was a great experience.

‘I watched my son play a little at the camp and it looked like he had fun.

‘I was impressed knowing that the association brought in coaches of that calibre to Cayman. Our sport here can only get better with that.

‘The Camana Bay center is a really good facility and I’m glad my son and the other children could benefit from that.

‘Having Nick Anderson here was a treat. However I’m a big Lakers fan and I hope they bring some Lakers guys to town.’